Turkish gov't signals improvements only for pensions below 10,000 liras

Turkey's ruling AKP group chair Abdullah Güler signaled that the government would implement improvements only for pensioners receiving less than 10,000 and there would not be a flat-rate raise increase for all pensioners.

Duvar English

Turkey's vice president and its finance minister plan to discuss a possible increase in the minimum monthly pension payment with officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The minimum monthly pension payment for each person is 10,000 lira ($304) for 2024, but the Turkish opposition has been calling on the government to increase it, saying that people are struggling with soaring inflation.

The government earlier said there were no plans to increase the minimum wage or minimum pension payments despite calls from the opposition, but Turkish media recently reported that an internal debate on the matter had started.

AKP spokesperson Ömer Çelik said on July 8 the party was studying the matter, but that there had been no final decision.

"We will continue to support all segments of society, with the main aim being to protect the medium-term economic programme," Çelik told reporters.

AKP Parliamentary Group on July 10 organized a closed group meeting and also discussed pensions. Since President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was in the U.S., the meeting was chaired by AKP group chair Abdullah Güler.

Güler stated that Vice President Cevdet Yılmaz and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimsek will meet him and AKP deputy group chair Mustafa Elitaş to discuss the matter, without giving a specific date.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Güler, stated that efforts to increase the minimum pension are underway, but the work has not yet been completed.

Güler noted that an improvement in pensions for all retirees has not been considered. He stated that the increase could only apply to pensions below 10,000 lira and said he does not expect a flat-rate increase for all pensions.

Güler acknowledged the criticism that not improving pensions for those receiving more than 10,000 lira would create an "injustice." He underscored, "It is necessary to carefully calculate a regulation that will not disrupt the system. There should also be a forward-looking regulation regarding the pension system."

In Turkey, the hunger threshold in June reached 18,980 liras ($580) while the poverty threshold rose to 61,820 liras ($1,890).

In a joint press statement on July 9 by the country'S three biggest labor confederations, the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (TÜRK-İŞ), the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), and the Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions (HAK-İŞ) called the government to urgently increase the minimum wage and equalize lowest pension with the minimum wage level.